New research from the RAC has shown that the top concern for motorists has been named as the illegal use of handheld phones by drivers.

The idea of other drivers being distracted by using their phones illegally has become the top worry for more than one in six people (16%). It was picked ahead of 22 other issues, appearing to be a growing concern up from 13% in 2016.

The next concern on the list, was the condition of local roads (picked by over 10%), followed by the cost of fuel and the cost of insuring a car.

Two fifths of the survey listed illegal handheld mobile use and the distraction it causes as one of their top four worries.

This year, the government moved to quash illegal phone use, but doubling penalties to 6 points and a £200 fine.
However, 80% of respondents said they have not changed their habits at all, with 7% saying it hasn’t made a difference.

The report by the RAC reveals that drivers aged 25-44 are the most likely to use their phone illegally whilst driving, making up almost 40% of habitual lawbreakers. A third were aged between 45 and 64, whilst almost a fifth were 17-24.

When questioned about why they are still using their phone, the most common excuse was it being an emergency, followed by needing information regarding the journey they were on. Other reasons included it’s a habit, ‘I can get away with it’, not realising it was illegal and ‘everyone else does it’.

Brand Manager at The Fuelcard People, Ben Robb, commented that “there is clearly an issue with people’s mindset when it comes to using a phone whilst driving, and this research confirms it. More worryingly, tougher penalties haven’t made them rethink their potentially dangerous habit”.

The original article by the FuelCard people can be found here.